Melrose 35-24 Ayr

Melrose try scorer Fraser Thomson
Melrose try scorer Fraser Thomson

The Premiership was thrown wide open yesterday as a confident Melrose side saw off a challenge from league leaders Ayr at the Greenyards.

Melrose collected the bonus point while Ayr were hampered by an eye injury to play maker Frazier Climo who had to leave the pitch.

Other results mean placings remain unchanged with Ayr still heading the bunch on 46 points, but Saturday’s victories for both Melrose and Hawick on Saturday means the gap is closing between the top four. Heriot’s are second on 41 with Melrose (39) and Hawick (37) within touching distance.

Playing in chilly but bright conditions Melrose made the best possible start yesterday when Fraser Thomson scored under the posts for Joe Helps to convert before Climo kicked a penalty when Melrose were penalised for crossing and narrowed the gap with his second then added a third to give his side the lead in 19 minutes.

But Melrose regained their composure for Helps to kick a goal before Sam Pecquer went over in the corner. Helps kicked another goal for an 18-9 interval lead.

Andrew Nagle was denied an almost certain try for a forward pass and Ayr moved quickly to the other end where Lewis Anderson scored and Ross Curle converted.

Melrose’s response was swift, Pecquer scoring his second for Helps to convert, but from the kick-off, Grant Anderson touched down at the other end, and then Helps and Curle exchanged penalties.

Melrose secured the points with a late converted try from Grant Runciman with Ayr’s Peter McCallum in the sin-bin.